TalkSPORT commentator explains what VAR told him about Ryan Christie’s tackle on Bukayo Saka during Arsenal v Bournemouth

Arsenal beat Bournemouth comfortably today to put the pressure back on Manchester City but it wasn’t a completely easy afternoon.

The Gunners had to huff and puff for much of the first half before a soft looking penalty allowed Bukayo Saka to slot home and give The Emirates huge relief.

Manager Mikel Arteta then saw his side cruise in the second half and add two more goals to win 3-0 and put the ball firmly back in Pep Guardiola’s side’s court.

However, while things were comfortable in the end for the Gunners, there was a moment of worry in the opening 45 when Bukayo Saka went down under a heavy looking challenge from Ryan Christie.

The England winger was furious at the time and despite it being checked by VAR, nothing was changed


And looking into the incident at half-time, TalkSPORT’s Sam Matterface explained what he’d been told about why VAR didn’t intervene

Why Ryan Christie wasn’t sent off for his challenge on Bukayo Saka
Speaking about the incident on TalkSPORT this afternoon, Matterface confirmed he had looked into why VAR didn’t intervene


At half time I was investigating why Saka was upset during that collision on the halfway, and having reviewed the footage and looked at some of the images, I can understand why he was so upset. VAR did check Ryan Christie’s challenge on halfway on Bukayo Saka, which does appear to see him leave a straight foot with studs on the shin of the Arsenal man who scored the opening goal, but the challenge was reckless but not dangerous and therefore was not a red card,” Matterface said.

Should have been a red
Everything looks worse in slow motion, they say. But this one was a bit of a stinker and on another day, might easily have been a red.

Saka was right to be upset here and there is every chance it was a tackle that left him with a bad injury ahead of a big finish to the season and the summer Euros.

The explanation of reckless and not dangerous is always a baffling one really. It seems to change depending on whoever is in the VAR room or on the field.

Saka, then, was lucky to get up ok from this one and will feel that he’s once again been the subject of some harsh treatment.

Related Articles